Western Cape Premier Helen Zille delivers her final State of the Province address. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town - Dramatic scenes unfolded in the Western Cape Legislature when ANC staged a walkout during Premier Helen Zille's State of the Province Address.

Zille who is delivering her last SOPA as Premier was heckled by members of the opposition party during the first half of her speech which saw her stating that she would not address or respond to comments from members who were misinformed. 

Khaya Magaxa, the leader of the ANC in the Legislature,  stood up while Zille was addressing the strain on the education system on a yearly basis.

Zille said more than 113 000 learners have relocated to the Western Cape since 2014 with an additional 16 285 learners coming in from other provinces for the start of the 2019 academic year, at a cost of R14 000 per year for each learner.

“There is no doubt our education system is under major pressure on a number of fronts. Demand for places is growing and learners often arrive in January without being registered by their parents the previous year,” she said.

But an annoyed Magaxa rose and said as the ANC they would no longer sit and listen to the premier while learners in the province are still without placements in the province and would go outside to deliver their own SOPA.

An unworried Zille accused Magaxa of staging his outrage and having only sat through the first part of her speech to  wait for more ANC supporters to gather outside before leaving.

Earlier in the week, the ANC had indicated that they would have their own SOPA on the steps of the provincial legislature to highlight the work the DA has done over the last 10 years as compared to when their party was in power prior to 2009.

In her speech, Zille also touched on disaster relief efforts done by her government to deal with the drought crisis as well as deadly fire seasons.

“Our expanded Disaster Management resources have achieved an exceptional success rate with 95% of wild-fires being brought under control within the first hour of being reported,” she said.

Zille added that this was a major feat considering the 10 000 wildfires reported in this fire season.

“Many of the thousands of fires in our province this summer were caused by human agency, mostly accidentally, often foolishly and sometimes even purposefully,” she said.

Zille extended her condolences to the 44 people who lost their lives in fires since October last year in both urban and rural settings including firefighters and helicopter pilots. 

Political Bureau